Activists Regroup After Oregon Lawmakers' Trump Local Push To Restrict GM Crops

Oct 4, 2013

Until this week, activists in some Oregon counties were pushing to ban genetically modified crops, sometimes referred to as GMOs. Now they are now looking at a statewide initiative.

Oregon lawmakers put the brakes on anti-GMO initiatives in four counties when they passed Senate Bill 863 this week. The bill prohibits local governments from banning genetically modified crops. Supporters of the bill say it ensures that farmers across the state can operate under one set of state regulations rather than patchwork of local rules. Scott Bates is the director of GMO-free Oregon. He says he's now considering a statewide initiative to ban GMO crops.

Bates: "863 mandates that anything that deals with agriculture be dealt with at the state level, so we'll definitely be looking at taking the fight to that."

This week Governor John Kitzhaber promised to convene a task force to address state regulations of genetically modified crops. He says he plans on introducing legislation to address the issue in 2015.

Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting